What your hormones are trying to tell you

stk61205cor

If you thought PMS, bloating and zits were all just the lowlights of being a woman, Alisa Vitti would like you to think again.

“We teach our patients to think what’s normal is not to have PMS, to feel great all month, to have natural conception, not to have post partum depression,” says Vitti, a women’s hormonal health expert and the author of “WomanCode: Perfect Your Cycle, Amplify Your Fertility, Supercharge Your Sex Drive and Become a Power Source.” “What’s normal is a sex drive that increases as you age, not decreases. What’s normal is to have a metabolism that’s helping you maintain your healthy weight effortlessly. Anything that’s not that isn’t normal. We shouldn’t get desensitized to that in our bodies or in our thinking.”

In college, Vitti, a med student at the time, thought her heavy weight, cystic acne and missed periods were due to polycystic ovarian syndrome, until she came across a small article about a disease called Stein-Leventhal Syndrome. Convinced this disease was the root of her problems, Vitti took the information to her doctor, who thought the best course of treatment would be medication. But “that wasn’t a good enough answer to ‘what do we do now?’” Vitti says. Instead, she did a lot of her own research on her condition and was shocked to find that diet played a role.

“I was exposed to some of the cutting edge research that was coming out from the Human Genome Project, which discovered this protein structure that wraps around your DNA strands,” she says. “It [works] like a switch. And the only thing that they found that would turn these switches on or off — to having your body express disease or health — was what you were eating and how you were living. And I thought, ‘Oh my God: If we can manipulate our gene expression with food and lifestyle, we can apply that to entire glands and organs and entire organ systems, like the endocrine systems.”

If you currently find yourself in hormonal hell, Vitti has a plan to get back on track — and it starts with your diet.

What to avoid:

Soy, specifically soy protein isolate: “Most convenient soy products that consumers purchase are highly concentrated in soy protein isolate. They are not getting the benefits of the whole bean. Rather, they are getting soy protein isolate, which is full of concentrated estrogen and exacerbates their hormonal symptoms,” Vitti says. “They did a crazy study in Brazil on female lab rats eating tofu —the uterus changed shape and it caused male infertility.” But fermented soy, including miso paste and tempeh, is OK in moderation, as is tofu in small quantities (as long as it’s organic and GMO-free).

Dairy: “The casein in dairy has been shown to build up a plaque on the small intestine,” Vitti says, blocking absorption of vital micronutrients. Concerned about calcium? Vitti says that on her plan, eliminating dairy also means adding in more foods that are other good sources of calcium, like kale, bok choy, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds

Gluten: “Wheat-based products cause such inflammation in the intestine,” Vitti says. “Most people are gluten-sensitive and don’t realize it.”

What to load up on:

Fermented foods: “Fermented foods provide the body with probotics, which help you absorb more nutrients. They also contain called Indole-3-carbinol which breaks down estrogen.”

Green juices: “You’re getting your high levels of antioxidants that help protect the ovaries.”

Sweet potatoes: “I love them for the vitamin A to help with your liver.”

Pasture-fed eggs (with the yolks): “They help the body make progesterone, which is the hormone that opposes estrogen and keeps you balanced in terms of your mood and keeps all those PMS symptoms away.”

Avocados: “I love avocados for the EFAs That keep our hormones really, really healthy.”

Spinach, kale and collard greens: “I love dark, leafy greens for the calcium and magnesium that help our body utilize hormones as we’re producing them.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Local

Bomb squad detonates backpacks left at Marathon finish…

The Boston Marathon finish line has been evacuated and the Copley Square T station has been closed as police investigate a suspicious package, WBZ is reporting.

National

Reddit boosts news capabilities in social media turf…

By Jennifer SabaNEW YORK (Reuters) - Reddit, a website with a retro-'90s look and space-alien mascot that tracks everything from online news to celebrity Q&As,…

Entertainment

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

Television

'Orphan Black' is back with 'crazy clone shenanigans'

“Orphan Black” is the little show that could. It had a few things working against it: a sci-fi premise, attracting an audience who had never…

MLB

MLB video highlights: White Sox beat Red Sox…

Red Sox fall on walk-off error to White Sox

NBA

NBA Draft Lottery day is May 20: Celtics…

NBA Draft Lottery day is Tuesday, May 20: Celtics percentage odds for a top overall pick

MLB

Opinion: Major League Baseball replay system shouldn't be…

Opinion: Major League Baseball replay system shouldn't be dumped just yet

NHL

Bruins - Red Wings preview: David Krejci ready…

Bruins - Red Wings preview: David Krejci ready to erupt once again in playoffs

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.

Tech

Google Glass finally goes on sale for regular…

The Google Glass finally went on sale for regular people. It only costs $1,500.